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Beneath the Surface of WWE Royal Rumble 2017

It has been days since the Royal Rumble has concluded.  Fans are still talking about the shocking win of Randy Orton and the events that has followed the Rumble since then.  Call it a curve ball or a monkey wrench thrown in, but after some time reflecting I can only hope that an Orton and John Cena win was just to keep fans on their toes.  What I think and what the company thinks are two different things here, but I just can’t see these two making it to Orlando.  There has to be more to this than a shock value win.  With WrestleMania getting bigger every year, it just wouldn’t work.  But regardless, the stage is being set for the showdowns in Orlando.

Peeling back the layers of the Rumble, we saw shocking eliminations from Brock Lesnar to the Undertaker.  Fans were surprised to see that the seeds were planted when Roman Reigns eliminated the Dead Man followed with the cocky response “It’s my yard now.”  That took me back to the Shield days and my inner fangirl was screaming with joy.  If it took Taker to make WWE take Reigns to the dark side, then I’m all over it.  Despite rumors that Taker isn’t 100%, it will be a guessing game for the time being.

Braun Strowman had a huge night on Sunday, putting his focus on Reigns once more during the WWE Universal Championship match.  With Taker being a part time talent, Reigns will need another Superstar to keep him busy, to which Strowman does just that.  Strowman also had a strong performance during the Rumble.  The dark horse at the Rumble however was Baron Corbin, who continues to shine each time he is out there in the ring.  2017 will be the year of Corbin, and I would not be surprised to see the Intercontinental or WWE Championship around his waist at some point in the year.  The slow burn of these two men is definitely working in their favor.

Everyone knew that Lensar and Goldberg were going to WrestleMania, so those eliminations were no surprise for me.  While it was billed as Remember the Rumble, perhaps this has a lasting effect beyond that.  I think what got all of the fans up in arms, myself included, was not only the promotion of the event, but many fans know that the Royal Rumble plays a huge part in creating legacies for Superstars.  So when the Rumble began to fall apart Sunday night it was just downhill from there.  The Rumble hasn’t been all that great in recent years, plagued by wrong choices and questionable bookings.  Even though the only surprise during the Rumble this year was Tye Dillinger, perhaps that was a good thing as it places more focus on him.  Samoa Joe’s absence seemed like a missed opportunity; however his appearance on Raw to attack Seth Rollins was just as good.

The Royal Rumble produced a Smackdown winner, despite the event being Raw heavy.  The Elimination Chamber is less than two weeks to which the pages will keep turning for WrestleMania in Orlando.  More than likely I believe Cena is the transition champion this time around and if rumors are true that Bray Wyatt will be the winner of the Elimination Chamber match, then the company will be back on track to promote one of Smackdown’s biggest storylines on the grand stage of WrestleMania.  It may not have been exactly what we wanted, but this would be genius on WWE’s part if the scenario comes to fruition.

We are so accustomed to how WWE does things.  So when things turn differently, such as the Orton win, many of us don’t see the effects right away.  I know I didn’t see it right away.  But perhaps when it’s all said and done in April, all of us can look back and have a story to tell when reflecting on this years from now.  Maybe it was the Rumble to remember after all.  I hope I am right.

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Sarah Hirsch

Pro wrestling fan that is new to the blogging world.

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